Lawyers say that they do “injury cases” or “accident cases” or “wrongful death cases,” but I’m not sure that everyone understands exactly what this means. An injury case, automobile accident case, motorcycle accident case, nursing home negligence case or wrongful death case is a type of claim in which a person has been injured or killed due to someone else’s carelessness (negligence). If the only damage in your case is that your car got banged up, then you don’t have a personal injury case – but you may have a property damage case. Our firm does not handle property-damage-only cases.
If both you and your car have suffered damage, then you have both a personal injury and a property damage claim. In those circumstances, either your insurance company or the other person’s insurance company will usually take care of your property damage claim. Your lawyer can give you some free guidance on the property damage portion of the claim if you are being represented on the injury portion of the claim.
If someone’s negligence causes the death of another, then this is called a “wrongful death” claim. The laws of each state differ significantly regarding what can be recovered in a wrongful death case, and who is entitled to a recovery. You need an attorney who understands the specialized wrongful death laws.
In a typical personal injury case, once a claimant has completed medical treatment, negotiations begin with the insurance company in an effort to settle the claim for a fair amount of money. If no settlement agreement can be reached, a lawsuit must be filed by the injured person.
Once the lawsuit is filed, both sides engage in the legal process called discovery. Each party is allowed to investigate what the other side is going to say at trial. The defendant will be permitted access to your medical and work history, including your income records. You may have to give a deposition under oath. The defendant is also subject to discovery. The defendant will answer written and oral questions, under oath, about his or her background, and about the incident at issue. Then a trial is held, and a judge or a jury will determine both fault and damages.
If you or a loved one has been injured, you can speak to one of our lawyers FOR FREE. We offer free consultations and put our experience to work to help you. To get started, just contact us today.